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Whats the point of aircraft?


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I was wondering if anyone uses aircraft in CMBO....they are expensive, are they worththe price? Do they drop their payload and then fly around taking fire or do they actually contribute to the war effort?

Let me know if you like or dislike them, I am curious.

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They will loose their payload and then strafe for a while. Sometimes they are so effective they take the fun out of a game. Other times, they'll waste their effort on dead or, horror of horrors, friendly vehicles, if they bother to show up at all.

There's a trick to avoiding their effects, but I'm not sharing that wink.gif

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"The common ordinary SS soldier was just following orders from their superiors..."- Maximus

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Originally posted by Chaffee:

I was wondering if anyone uses aircraft in CMBO....they are expensive, are they worththe price? Do they drop their payload and then fly around taking fire or do they actually contribute to the war effort?

Let me know if you like or dislike them, I am curious.

I had been lucky enough to have avoided the dangers of air attack. However, in my most recent operation I took more damage from air attacks during a single battle than I took from any other type of enemy throughout the operation.

-I had approximately 50% of my armor destroyed. It seems that armored vehicles with open tops tend to attract strafing runs.

-My "ace in the hole" Tiger had its gun disabled before it even got off a shot.

-When the Jabo dropped a bomb into the middle of my defenses, it only killed a few infantry and a single tank. However, it broke most of the defenders in that particular area. The enemy was able to counter attack and break my lines wide open.

I've never spent the points and felt that I got my money's worth out of my Fighter/Bombers. However, having just had a serious can of whoop-a$$ openned up on me by air attacks, I'm reconsidering my predujice.

-Lurker

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Air support is something a scenario designer should consider very carefully. It can have a decisive effect, even being more effective than its cost.

I've had a scenario "in the bag", only to have air support show up and just completely stop an attack cold. This may have been the scenario designer's intent, but sometimes I get the feeling it wasn't.

Allied used air, and its a fact of life on the Western front. The only thing I question is this very close combat support.

Air support is worth the cost. Sometimes much more so, sometimes less. Its a crap shot, though in my experience, I would say it helps a lot more than hinders.

If I play German on a clear day and the scenario designer gives me AA guns, I feel a horrible dread. And as may be historically correct, I curse the good weather and pray for bad.

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Originally posted by kump:

Air support is something a scenario designer should consider very carefully. It can have a decisive effect, even being more effective than its cost.

Usually the airplanes give you a turn of warning-- you see the shadow of the plane go across the map looking for targets. Then it comes back to take some shots in subsequents turns, and like Babs said, there's a trick or two for avoiding air attacks, and if you notice the first pass you can reduce the damage when they come back.

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"If you can taste the difference between caviar on a cracker and ketchup on a Kit-Kat while blindfolded, you have not had enough aquavit to be ready for lutefisk." (stolen from some web page about lutefisk)

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The Allied fighter bombers were everywhere. It is apparent in any accounts read by German soldiers during the Normandy campaign and after. Not only were they extremely effective tacticallly, but strategically as well, forcing almost all moves of troops and supplies to be done at night. Pretty heavy effect, eh? Their attacks could be - and frequently were - devastating to the extreme. In CMBO terms, I think it very accurate to have an attack completely smashed by air power - with the alternative that perhaps the FAC decided to send them elsewhere (or any other reason why the jabos went elsewhere) and the German attack was certain. I think this was very likely to be the case in any action there: if the guys with the rippling muscles, white scarves and Raybans showed up, then the Germans were gonna be hurtin'. A lot. Of course it was not infrequent that these same guys waxed a whole lot of their own guys. Very bad news.

To answer your question specifically: No, I do not select airpower. It is too hit and miss for me, and if the hit might be me and not you, then I would rather not have it.

On this same note, there is an absolutely fantastic book called "The Fighter Bomber Boys" by a former Jug pilot from the US Ninth Air Force (you know, the other one that was based in England) They flew ground pounder missions exclusively. No high altitude bomber escort missions for them. They were in the mud all the time. Interestingly enough, they were in the mud in an airplane designed from the start as a very high altitude air superiority fighter. He does not tell the "here is my life" kind of story (not that those are so bad smile.gif), but he instead tries to paint an accurate picture of what his job entailed on an everyday basis. An incredibly good read. I will dig up the author and publisher if any one is interested. It is a paperback published by a small company. I emailed the author directly. He signed my copy, and included a signed photo of him. I will check back in the AM and see if anyone wants me to provide this info.

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Capt. Byron Crank, US Army

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If I am playing a large/huge battle I buy some air power but until recently I have not been convinced of their effects.

In a recent huge battle where as the allies I am on an assault of a city outskirt (I suppose), my attack was going very badly (I have since read up on assaults and hope to do better in the next one), however when my planes turned up they swung the tide a bit for me (personal note - you know what I am on aboout jwild!!!!).

Damaged and ruined hetzers litter the field and they are still flying back and forth even now after a few turns so I have to change my mind and say I quite like them.

Graham

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Originally posted by kump:

Allied used air, and its a fact of life on the Western front. The only thing I question is this very close combat support.

B]

Interesting point on this. In the New Vanguard book on the Sherman (No. 3?), I don't have it with me at the moment there was an interesting statement by a veteran of the 4th Armored Division (I believe) who basically said it was SOP to have a 75mm gun-armed tank at point with a WP shell loaded (there where no WP shells for the 76mm gun). If an enemy tank was spotted that looked like it couldn't be dealt with frontally then they smoked it in with the WP and then attempted to flank it with the other tanks.

If flanking opportunities didn't look promising they simply called in the flyboys.

So, two things to note, WP was not that scarce (at least in this unit), and they seemed to try to keep the close air support on a short leash and employed it pretty "close".

Gordon

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I challenge anyone to find references of Allied A/C attacking German forces WHILE friendly troops were engaged with them. Even at 200 mph, (much less faster) ground target ID is very difficult. When air support was available, Allied units would pull back while it bombed and/or strafed a village or strong point. Unless you are playing a scenario on an extremely large map, and your units wait for the air attack to conclude before advancing, there is no place for air strikes in CM. Build a scenario where you have to get a German vehicular column across a map, while giving the Allies only FB's, and you will be playing something resembling the INTERDICTION that occurred on a daily basis, when the weather permitted.

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Give a man fire, and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for a lifetime.

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Originally posted by Vergeltungswaffe:

I challenge anyone to find references of Allied A/C attacking German forces WHILE friendly troops were engaged with them.

Worthington Force, August 44.

XXX Corps, Market Garden Sept. 44.

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"The common ordinary SS soldier was just following orders from their superiors..."- Maximus

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Originally posted by Forever Babra:

Worthington Force, August 44.

XXX Corps, Market Garden Sept. 44.

From what I've read about it, still not a case of air support with troops seriously entangled.

If I'm wrong, I will apologize in advance.

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Give a man fire, and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for a lifetime.

[This message has been edited by Vergeltungswaffe (edited 03-07-2001).]

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Guest Germanboy

Originally posted by Vergeltungswaffe:

I challenge anyone to find references of Allied A/C attacking German forces WHILE friendly troops were engaged with them.

Setting yourself up there biggrin.gif

43rd ID during JUPITER

Tank Tracks - 9th RTR mentions the use of FB when their Churchills were presented with an insurmountable problem (read Tiger).

Having said that - you are right in pointing out it was difficult (the 43rd for example mentions it in the context of a friendly fire incident), and it is not entirely unlikely that FB performance in the game is overstated. But that may also be because scenario designers do not hand out the ubiquitous 20mm AA gun to the Germans, and because players don't buy it in QBs.

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Andreas

Der Kessel

Home of „Die Sturmgruppe“; Scenario Design Group for Combat Mission.

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Not trying to start a flame war or anything, I just think airstrikes in CM only belong in the contexts I described in my original post.

As to the accounts others have mentioned, it still doesn't look like attacks going on within a medium size CM map and infantry forces in direct contact with one another.

But, regardless, I surrender, and will go back to my playing without A/C.

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Give a man fire, and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for a lifetime.

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Originally posted by Germanboy:

[sNIP]But that may also be because scenario designers do not hand out the ubiquitous 20mm AA gun to the Germans, and because players don't buy it in QBs.

Speak for yourself...

If I am playing a QB with enough points where it is VERY tempting for my opponent to purchase F/Bs then I ALWAYS purchase a heavy weapons platoon with 20mm flaks. Not to is just tempting suicide.

But there was that time Meeks and I played a 2000 point battle and all he bought for arty was 3 JABOs and I DIDN'T buy any AA. That sucked, but I did win by hiding my armor until near the end of the game.

In fact my last Hetzer took out a Pershing JUST AS a JABO flew over and fired a ton of rockets. My glorious little hetzer drove right through the rocket barrage unscathed.

Meeks was pretty pissed. wink.gif

Jeff

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When nuclear weapons are frozen then only freezers will have nuclear weapons.

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Originally posted by Vergeltungswaffe:

I challenge anyone to find references of Allied A/C attacking German forces WHILE friendly troops were engaged with them.

...Another day of heavy fighting. After paying, as always, a high price in tanks, the Germans drive a wedge into our defense, they advance faster than our infantry and artillery can retreat. Everything is mixed up, a "layered cake" has formed. Ahead of us, and to our rear - both our troops and the enemy. Everything hangs by a thread, a little more and the Germans will reach the crossings... The commander calls for air support. IL-2 ground attack aircraft literally "walk on our heads", slam everything, and there are both our soldiers and Fritzes in one ravine, at its different ends, hiding from bombs and rockets from above. Tanks that weren't destroyed by our guns are burning, skirmishes flare up between our infantry and wedged in Fritzes. Having lost their armor, the Fritzes withdraw hastily. The situation is restored. Of course, some of us were also killed by our own ILs, but there was no other way to save the bridgehead. I found out from memoir literature that those were the aircraft of one of the first five Heroes of the Soviet Union, N. I. Kamanin, working above us, and among them - one of the first cosmonauts G. Beregovoy

Extract from the yet-to-be published "Nachalo Voiny", the war memoirs of Lt. Evgenii Monyushko

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Guest Germanboy

Originally posted by Forever Babra:

Extract from the yet-to-be published "Nachalo Voiny", the war memoirs of Lt. Evgenii Monyushko

Ohmygod! It is 'The Fanatical Batallions of Fact'™ on the Attack again... biggrin.gif

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Andreas

Der Kessel

Home of „Die Sturmgruppe“; Scenario Design Group for Combat Mission.

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Guest Germanboy

Originally posted by Forever Babra:

Fact: Battalion has two "T"s and one "L" tongue.gif

D'uh - one 't' and two 'l' in German - getting my languages mixed up again...

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Andreas

Der Kessel

Home of „Die Sturmgruppe“; Scenario Design Group for Combat Mission.

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An excellent book discussing Allied Airpower and combat results is Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness by Niklas Zetterling.

The main problem with drawing conclusions of effectiveness from Allied pilots or German first hand accounts is that they are both inaccurate. Allied pilots exaggerated their kills - a number of times their # of reported kills exceeded the number of German tanks operating in a given battle. In turn, many German accounts of Allied airpower exaggerated their destructive affect on their forces.

When the actual kills are tabulated - Allied airpower killed between 5% to 7% of German AFVs. It was about double (10%-15%) for non-AFV combat vehicles i.e HTs, ACs, etc.

For example, Allied airpower destroyed between 1100-1200 vehicles in the Falaise Pocket (the best opportunity during the war for airpower destructiveness of vehicles). This may seem large but this meant that Allied airpower, at best, destroyed around 3%-4% of vehicles in Falaise and that ONLY 3%-9% of sorties flown actually destroyed a vehicle. Note - claims by pilots were 5 to 10 times greater.

In general when comparing actual kills (not claims), Allied airpower was not that destructive to vehicles.

Allied airpower did:

1. Inhibit movement which prevented supply, mobilty, etc.

2. Destroyed transportation i.e. supplu columns.

3. Forced advancing Germans to seek cover and thereby delay or 'break up' an advance (in most cases, few casualties resulted, but the affect inhibited the attack).

4. Destroy transport trains, which was the primary method of transportation of the German forces in the West.

All of this caused disruption but not the lethality airpower currently has in CM.

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Very good points, although the Falaise numbers seems extremely high. By these figures, there were 30000-40000 German vehicles in the Falaise Pocket?!?

I have seen figures that support the contention that Allied tac air was even less effective against AFVs than the numbers you quote suggest. Regardless, (as I have said here before) it seems to me that tac air is far too likely to knock out armor in CM.

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Guest Napoleon1944

I played a QB and purchased 1 US aircraft. It flew around and only immobilized 1 Tiger out of about 5 total tanks. I didn't think it was worth the 225 points for a regular pilot. I assumed it would wreak havoc with armor and it didn't. My opponent said he doesn't purchase them.

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The only enemy I fear is nature.

-Napoleon

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Personally German sooking about allied airpower makes me laugh. When the boot was on the other foot and the Luftwaffe dominated the skies over Greece, Crete and Tobruk the allied attitude seemed to be more phlegmatic.

http://www.wlu.ca/~wwwmsds/Vogel.htm

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"Stand to your glasses steady,

This world is a world of lies,

Here's a toast to the dead already,

And here's to the next man to die."

-hymn of the "Double Reds"

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